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Paying tax soon to be a fundamental duty
October, 15th 2012

Pay tax not just to relax, as the Income Tax department says, but also to contribute to nation building as part of our soon-to-be fundamental duty.

The finance ministry plans to propose that paying tax be made a fundamental duty, hoping the move will increase compliance in a country where less than 3% pay tax. A cabinet note could be moved soon.

"There are various fundamental duties laid down for citizens in the constitution...We are looking at including paying taxes the list in the same way," a finance ministry official told ET.

India's tax-to-GDP ratio, already one of the lowest among its peers, fell to 10.1% in 2011-12 from a high of 11.9% in 2007-08. This is largely blamed on the low tax base perforated by multiple tax exemptions.

Tax experts say this is a symbolic gesture aimed at increasing awareness about why paying taxes is necessary, like so many other fundamental duties.

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